Can You Store Spray Paint on Its Side?

Spray paint is a popular and convenient way to add color and texture to a variety of surfaces, from furniture to walls to outdoor projects. However, many people are unsure about the best way to store spray paint. Specifically, there is a common question that comes up: can you store spray paint on its side?

There are varying opinions on the matter, with some people believing it is perfectly fine while others warn against it. Many of us have likely experienced the frustration of discovering a spray paint can that has leaked or become clogged after being stored on its side. However, it’s important to determine whether this is a common occurrence or simply a fluke.

In this blog post, you’ll be able to explore the effects of storing spray paint on its side, including potential risks and preventative measures.

Can You Store Spray Paint on Its Side

Can Your Store Spray Paint on Its Side?

Spray paint cans are designed to be stored upright for a reason. When spray paint is stored on its side, the paint inside the can can settle and become thicker. This can make it difficult for the paint to spray out evenly and can cause clogging issues. Storing spray paint on its side can also damage the nozzle, causing it to clog or spray inconsistently.

However, some spray paints are designed to be stored on their side, while others should be stored upright. For example, enamel spray paints are generally safe to store on their side because they contain a solvent that keeps the paint from drying out.

On the other hand, latex-based spray paints should always be stored upright to prevent the paint from separating and drying out. It’s essential to check the label of the spray paint before storing it to ensure that you’re storing it correctly.

If you do need to store spray paint on its side, make sure the cans are properly shaken and agitated before use to ensure the paint inside is evenly mixed. It’s a good idea to test spray the paint on a scrap piece of material before using it on your project to make sure it’s spraying properly.

The Pros of Storing Spray Paint on Its Side

Storing spray paint on its side is generally not recommended, but there are some situations where it could be beneficial. Here are a few potential advantages of storing spray paint on its side:


Storing spray paint on its side can help save space in your storage area, especially if you have limited vertical storage space. However, it is important to note that this should only be done if the spray can is sealed tightly and there is no risk of leakage.

Improved Accessibility

Storing spray paint cans on their side can make them easier to reach when stored in a drawer or on a shelf.

Efficient Paint Mixing

Storing spray paint cans on their side can help mix the paint if it has settled in the can. This can make the paint easier to use and provide a more even finish.

The Cons of Storing Spray Paint on Its Side

Storing spray paint on its side can have negative consequences that you should be aware of, including:


One of the main issues of storing spray paint on its side is clogging, as this position can mix the paint and propellant, potentially leading to a decrease in the spray’s quality.

Leaks & Spills

Storing spray paint on its side increases the risk of leaks and spills, which can be hazardous if the paint comes into contact with the skin or eyes.

Reduced Shelf Life

Spray paint shelf life can be affected by storing it on its side. The propellant may evaporate more quickly, resulting in a shorter shelf life for the paint. It is important to store spray paint upright to maximize its longevity.

Difficulty Reading Labels

Storing spray paint on its side can make it difficult to read the label and identify the color or type of paint. To avoid confusion and ensure proper use, it is recommended to keep spray paint containers upright and label-facing out.

Fire Hazard

Storing spray paint on its side near heat sources or flames is a serious fire hazard. This can significantly increase the risk of fire and even cause an explosion.

Tips and Tricks for Storing Spray Paint

If you’ve used spray paint before, you know it’s essential to store it correctly, or it won’t work properly. Here are some tips and tricks for storing spray paint to help you get the most out of your cans.

Store Upright

Storing spray paint cans in an upright position is a practical way to prevent potential problems. When the cans are kept upright, the paint and propellant are less likely to mix, which can lead to clogging and poor spray quality. Storing cans upright can also prevent leaks and spills that could create a mess and possibly even pose a safety risk. Storing the opening spray paint can upright helps prevent the paint from settling and clogging the nozzle. This practice ensures the paint remains accessible and ready for future use, making your spray painting experience smoother and more convenient.

Label Cans

Using labels to identify your spray paint cans can be a practical solution to easily locate the color and type of paint you require. This can be a valuable time-saver and eliminate the hassle of having to sift through a pile of cans to find the one you need.

Keep in a Cool, Dry Place

To ensure the longevity of spray paint, it’s important to store it in a cool and dry area that is not exposed to direct sunlight, heat, or flames. Exposure to extreme temperatures can negatively impact the quality of the spray paint and shorten its lifespan.

Store in a Well-Ventilated Area

Spray paint contains fumes that can be harmful to our health, so it’s crucial to store it in a properly ventilated area. This will help prevent the buildup of fumes, which can ignite and cause a fire.

Use Storage Racks

Storing your spray paint cans on storage racks can be a practical way to keep your paint collection organized and easily accessible. This can also help you maximize your storage space while minimizing the risk of the cans falling or getting damaged.

Keep Away from Children and Pets

Exercise caution when handling spray paint, as it can pose a risk if ingested. To avoid any unintentional consumption or potential harm to individuals or pets, store spray paint out of the reach of children and animals.

Shake Cans Before Use

When using spray paint, shake the can well before starting to make sure the paint is properly mixed and ready to use. This will help ensure a smooth and consistent spray and prevent any potential issues with blockages.

How Do You Make a Spray Paint Can Holder and Storage Rack?


Storing spray paint on its side is not advisable as it can result in various risks and drawbacks. Keeping the cans upright can prevent clogging, and leaks, and reduce the shelf life. 

Proper labeling of cans can help identify the color and type of paint easily. Storing spray paint in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area helps maintain its quality and reduces the risk of fire hazards. Using storage racks can help organize the paint collection and ensure easy access. Keeping spray paint out of the reach of children and pets can prevent accidental ingestion and injury. 

Before usage, the can must be shaken thoroughly to ensure even spraying and avoid clogging. By adhering to these tips, spray paint can be stored safely, and its quality can be maintained

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